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Jesse Ventura on Homeland Security

Former Independent MN Governor


I'd rather face terrorists than lose any of my freedoms

Are we ready for martial law? I think we are, because everybody's sitting back and watching our freedoms being taken away. Guess what? The terrorists are winning because our country has changed in the last decade, and not for the good. We're a country that's now living in the last decade, and not for the good. We're a country that's now living in fear and so are willing to trade our freedoms for safety--which I stand against and will go to my grave stating: "I'd rather face the terrorists on a daily basis than lose any of my freedoms."

Let's look at how the government has been intent on keeping us safe. First, did you know that the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) already had detention centers in place since it was established in March 2003 Second, the Army went on to establish a Civilian Inmate Labor Program back in 2005. "This regulation provides Army policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations."

Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p.128-129 , Apr 4, 2011

Assassinating foreign leadership is despicable

The CIA's Secret Assassination Manual: A 19-page CIA document was prepared as part of a coup against the Guatemalan government in 1954 and declassified in 1997. Maybe they should change the name to the CIA's "secret-first degree murder manual." How is that we are allowed to kill other people if we're not in a declared war with them? To arbitrarily go out in the world and kill someone without their being charged with a crime!

The thought of taking out another country's leadership is so despicable, it makes me ashamed that I'm an American. During the Cold War, the CIA plotted against 8 foreign leaders, and 5 of them died violent deaths. The CIA was involved for years in planning to murder Fidel Castro.

One paragraph in particular gives me pause, when I think back to what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963. "Public figures or guarded officials may be killed with great reliability and some safety if a firing point can be established prior to an official occasion," the manual instructed.

Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p. 16 , Apr 4, 2011

Bill of Rights still applies if you label them "terrorists"

After 9/11, Bush's Justice Dept. wrote up a long memo with the subject line: "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the US." The whole concept basically shreds our Bill of Rights. In short, "constitutional rules regulating law enforcement activity are not applicable." The military could even "attack civilian targets where suspected terrorists were thought to be." And later, "First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully."

Where does it say that, if you call something "terrorism," the Constitution and the Bill of Rights can be made null and void? All they've got to do is say the word and they can put you under surveillance without a warrant. To me, this smacks of an attack on the foundations of democracy that plays right into the HANDS of terrorists. It also sets a precedent for the kinds of tactics we went to see at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and elsewhere.

Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p.250 , Apr 4, 2011

End the phony war on terror to end al Qaeda

In 2008, The Rand Corporation came out with a major study titled "How Terrorist Groups End," looking at data on all such between 1968 and 2006.

Their findings apparently weren't too heartening to our policy-makers, if they bothered to read the study. The whole war on terror notion needs to be rethought, according to Rand, because in simple terms "countering al Qa'ida has focused far too much on the use of military forces."

If the government follows Rand on other matters, why not give them due consideration on this? Supposedly this is their job and they're the experts.

It's time to end these "phony wars on terror" and get down to the serious business of rebuilding our own democracy from the ground up.

Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p.295-296 , Apr 4, 2011

Secret behavior control drug experiments on Gitmo detainees

It's recently come out that the Pentagon forced all the detainees at Guantanamo prison to take high doses of a drug called mefloquine. Supposedly it's used to combat malaria, but that didn't seem to make any difference. Our military brass knew that mefloquine had severe side effects, like suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, and anxiety.

To me, this shows the continuing influence of those "experts" we brought here from Germany after WWII. Here you have doctors stating that you need to know complete background of the patient before using this substance--and they're injecting these people with this drug as soon as they're checked in!

A document from 2002 shows that "standard inprocessing orders for detainees" included 1,250 mg of mefloquine, five times higher than the dose given to people as preventative. And it's being given not for its intended purpose, but to study its intended side effects! I'm speechless. What ever happened to the physician's oath to "do no harm"?

Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p.273 , Apr 4, 2011

Evidence destroyed about torture of al Qaeda detainees

In April 2010, a FOIA lawsuit filed by the ACLU managed to pry out of the CIA a series of documents related to the destruction of 92 videos of "enhanced interrogation" of al Qaeda detainees, in particular Abu Zabaydah, who'd been transferred to a "black prison" in Thailand in 2002. He ended up being waterboarded 83 times in a month, deprived of sleep for days, subjected to extreme cold while being held naked, and forced to listen to near-deafening levels of music.

The CIA decided that these videos had to be wiped out--even though the many redactions made by the Agency make you wonder what else is being covered up. The first memo is from Oct. 2002, when the CIA began discussing the sensitivity of "interrogation sessions."

Clearly they could never allow the American people to see what they're doing to these detainees so you destroy the evidence. But what looms even larger is that there WAS evidence, and of such a nature that required it to be destroyed. That tells you how bad it must have been.

Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p.280-281 , Apr 4, 2011

Federal surveillance is a waste of taxpayer dollars

Let's focus on rethinking the meaning of surveillance. Certainly in the case of Malcolm X, as well as Dr. King, being shadowed by government agencies seemed to lead inevitably to their death. There is too much secrecy in our government, and surveillance today is even more widespread that it was then, at a considerable waste of taxpayer dollars. Let's also teach our young people that a willingness to change your attitude, as Malcolm X was willing to do, is a mark not of weakness but sometimes of greatnes
Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p. 52 , Mar 9, 2010

Why were there no black boxes from any of the 9/11 planes?

The official story is that, for the first time in history, the black boxes were not recovered. Not from any of the four planes. For the TV pilot I did about 9/11 on TruTV, we spoke to a guy who knew about the existence of three black boxes. He physically saw one, and his partner saw two more. He says they were taken away in a black government van. Another thing I find very interesting: Also for the first time in history, no attempt was made to reconstruct the planes with whatever parts they could find. They even did this with TWA flight 800 that went down in 1996 in the Atlantic, and for that they had to dive down 1,200 feet.

After Pearl Harbor, General Martin Shore and some admirals were fired because of their alleged negligence. After 9/11, not a single employee at the FAA or NORAD got punished. In fact, all the major military men involved received promotions.

Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p.154 , Mar 9, 2010

Vietnam War was all about somebody making money

My questioning of the "official" line goes back to my school days, being taught that we had to fight in Vietnam to stop the domino effect of Communism. That's what I learned in school, but my father--who was a World War II vet--took the exact opposite position at the dinner table. He said that was a load of crap, that the Vietnam War was all about somebody making big money off it. At first I thought my dad was crazy, because I could not believe they would lie to me in school. I fought with him over it, and he'd keep doing his best to debunk what I was saying.

When I, in turn, went into the service and learned a whole lot more about Vietnam, I had the good fortune to come home and tell my father that he was right. Especially growing up in the Midwest, you never even contemplate that your government might not be telling the truth. You don't realize until you get much older that government is nothing but people--and people lie, especially where money and power are concerned.

Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p. x-xi , Mar 8, 2010

Lesson from JFK: Don't let feds investigate momentous events

My Take:
A second gunman assassinated the president from the grassy knoll, while Oswald was set up as the fall guy. The perpetrators behind Oswald are tied into the CIA, the Pentagon, and the Mob.
What Should We Do Now?
One lesson we can take away from the tragedy in Dallas is that the federal government shouldn't be allowed to supersede state and local laws, when it comes to having an "official" investigation into events as momentous as a presidential assassination or a terrorist attack. We also need to pay close attention to how big media stopped doing their job as the eyes and ears of our democracy, refusing to acknowledge that something might be going on beyond a "lone nut" assassin. The pattern of denial continues, and we the people must demand thorough investigation and honest, unbiased information.
Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p. 43 , Mar 8, 2010

I'm more afraid of the culture of fear than of al Qaeda

Given all the illegal activity that the non-elected Bush Administration engaged in since the millennium, we can't be too surprised at the reaction. A government that played on people's worst nightmares to achieve its own ends created a culture not only of fear, but mistrust to the point of insurrection--which is what they secretly seem to have been longing for.

I've gone to some lengths to trace these developments since 9/11, because I'm a lot more afraid of this than an assault by al-Qaeda. What's going on inside our military also frightens me. More and more, we're seeing an army run by Christianist extremists and an accompanying cadre of what can only be described as neo-Nazis. Since the endless "war on terror" began, our armed services have been turning a blind eye to their own military statutes. A 2005 DoD report said: "Effectively, the military has a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy pertaining to extremism." White supremacists are walking as enlisted men around our bases.

Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p.194-195 , Mar 8, 2010

1999: Special Ops ID'ed several 9/11 hijackers, but ignored

Ever heard of an army project called Able Danger? It was established in 1999 as part of the Special Operations Command. Able Danger was an offensive counter-terrorism project which was designed to kill senior al-Qaeda leadership. It wasn't long before th Able Danger squad uncovered al-Qaeda cells in the NYC area, one of whose members was Mohamed Atta. At least six witnesses later recalled seeing Atta's picture on a chart they'd drawn up back in January 2000. Turns out three more of the alleged hijackers had been ID'ed by Able Danger before 9/11, as well.

But when the 9/11 Commission came up with reasons for leaving Able Danger out of its report, the media nodded off again. One 9/11 expert concluded that the commission and the Pentagon were "covering up dangerous information that suggested Atta was being protected. Combine this observation with the money reportedly sent to Atta--the Able Danger evidence provides additional reason to suspect that the 'hijackers' were really paid assets."

Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p.159-160 , Mar 8, 2010

Starting war under false premises should be impeachable

Bush did everything he could to ensure that the American people were misled [about Iraq]. What's gone down here is 10 times worse than happened between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Yet the Republican House successfully impeached Clinton over his personal conduct. I want to know whether, if George Bush cheated on Laura and then lied to Congress about it, that would rise to the impeachment level. Yet sending a country into war under false premises does not?
Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.274 , Apr 1, 2008

Muhammad Ali sacrificed for his convictions on Vietnam

The interesting thing about you, Terry says as my religious rant winds down, "is that your great hero in life is a Muslim." Muhammad Ali had been an idol of mine growing up.

{After getting elected, we] set it up for us to go visit Muhammad on his farm. We spent a whole afternoon. It was a dream come true for me to be sitting on a couch with the Champ, creating a friendship. His wife told me that he'd barely slept the night before, he was so excited I was coming. Muhammad Ali, excited to see me?

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 60-63 , Apr 1, 2008

CIA should not operate within the US, but they do

Sometime early in 1999, a meeting was set up for me in the basement of the Capitol. I was more or less being ORDERED to go down there. No one actually said that. No, I was told, this was a training exercise for the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, and they wanted to know if I would be willing to participate.

I opened the conversation by saying: "According to your original charter from when the CIA was created in 1947, you're not supposed to be working directly within the US." Well, I got the hem-haw.

It wasn't long after the meeting when I found out something else. I was stunned to learn that there are CIA operatives inside some state governments. I'm left to wonder why our Constitution is being violated.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 90-94 , Apr 1, 2008

Bush administration knew 9/11 was coming

When it comes to the question of "what did they know and when did they know it," as the old Watergate phrase goes, my B.S. detector antenna goes sky-high. Consider these facts about the summer of 2001:
Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.210 , Apr 1, 2008

Official story of 9/11 WTC collapse just doesn't add up

Many people have raised questions about just how the WTC buildings collapsed. Could it have been not the impact of the planes, but a controlled demolition from inside? Something about the official story doesn't add up.

Two witnesses [described] explosions inside and heard the popping sound of what they believed was demolition--but their statements to the 9/11 Commission seem to have been stricken from the official record.

Strangely enough, they supposedly never could find the black boxes from the aircraft--which are generally thought to be indestructible. Some reports later from firemen said actually they were found.

So is this another whitewash like the Warren Commission? The 9/11 Commission politely informs us that "conspiracy theorists [who] propagate outrageous notions that Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA, or some shadowy secret society of the rich and powerful." Outrageous notions? I find it outrageous that these commissions allow themselves to become part of the cover-up.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.210-212 , Apr 1, 2008

Wartime draft would stop Iraq War and prevent future wars

At the end of the Vietnam War, I was actively involved in the Stop-the-Draft movement. I've done a full 180-degree turn today. Around the time the Iraq War was getting underway an ultra-hippie, ultra-anti-war guy looked at me and said: "We've got to get the draft back. That will stop the war," he said.

It hadn't dawned on me until then. As long as we have a professional military, it's not going to touch that many Americans whose attitude is, "Well, they all volunteered, they're there because they want to be." The fact is, a professional military is now the strong arm of our president and corporate America. It creates an atmosphere where the majority of the fighting men are poor people. The rich kids, even a great majority of the middle class kids, are not serving.

I'm okay with a professional military during peacetime, but the moment a vote to go to war occurs, the draft should automatically be reinstated. We need to make war as difficult as we can to declare. You've got to bring war home.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.268-269 , Apr 1, 2008

Require Congressional family members to go to war

If I ever became president, I'd push with every ounce of power I had for Congress to pass something else into law: Every elected federal official must pre-designate an individual in their immediate family who has to begin military service-- the moment that official casts an affirmative vote toward going to war. This could be a grandchild, a niece or nephew, but someone. It doesn't mean they necessarily go to the war zone. What it does mean is that they and their family experience some personal discomfort because of this decision. Going to war should bring difficulty, especially to those who are the orchestrators or the authorizers. Right now, it's far too easy for them to go on TV with their bleeding hearts and give standing ovations to our service personnel. War should not be laissez-faire. If you're not willing to send someone from your family, how can you be so willing to send someone else's?
Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.270 , Apr 1, 2008

War isnít civilized; donít expect warriors to be

A Navy SEAL will defy death at least twice a week. When you get that kind of familiarity with death, barriers go down, and anything else seems insignificant.

I donít like what happened in the navyís Tailhook scandal; I think what those officers did was wrong. But I understand why it happened. When you get a force of that many hundreds of warriors together, thereís bound to be trouble. Weíre responsible for making them what they are. You just canít bring them back into civilization and expect that everything that was drilled into them is going to go away.

When youíre dealing with death face-to-face, there are no rules. Itís all about survival. After that, bad behavior doesnít affect you all that much.

War isnít civilized. War is failure. Itís the ultimate result of a breakdown in public policy, and soldiers are the machines that handle that breakdown. In warfare, youíre taught to do whatever you have to, to stay alive. Can you imagine bringing that mind-set into a party?

Source: Ainít Got Time to Bleed, p.105-6 , Jan 1, 1999

Military is stronger if all-volunteer

Even while I was a Navy SEAL, I participated in the 1970s peace movement. I marched at peace rallies. I admit it wasnít so much because of my great love of peace as it was because of my great love of female companionship. To the women in the movement, I was the poor beleaguered victim of the system, sent off against his will to fight this horrible war [in Vietnam]. They didnít realize that the navy had no draft!

I loved the braless thing. Iím very heterosexual. Iíd see women out burning their bras, and Iíd go over with a lighter, ďCan I help?Ē I did participate seriously, though, in the anti-draft movement. To this day, Iím against the draft. I believe the military is much stronger if itís an all-volunteer organization.

Source: Ainít Got Time to Bleed, p.109 , Jan 1, 1999

Against the draft; for including women except in combat

Iím against the draft. I believe we should have a professional military; it might be smaller, but it would be more effective. The draft is unfair. Rich kids didnít get drafted [in Vietnam]; they went to college and hid.

If weíre going to draft at all, then we should draft women too, as long as we donít send them into combat. The problem is men, [not womenís effectiveness in combat]. Thereís something protective in men that makes us want to protect women. And that would be disastrous in battle.

Source: Ainít Got Time To Bleed, p. 34 , Jan 1, 1999

Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility.

Ventura adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-10: Domestic Terrorism 01-NGA5 on Feb 15, 2001

Include states in anti-terrorism planning.

Ventura adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The issue of terrorism will be of major focus for the 107th Congress. Governors have a critical interest in controlling domestic terrorism because they are responsible for ensuring that state and local authorities have the ability to deal with natural disasters and other types of major emergencies, including terrorist incidents.

NGAís Position

NGA believes that any national strategy for dealing with terrorist incidents should include planning and training by state and local forces. The unique nature of terrorism coupled with national security implications requires the support and expertise of the federal government in working with state and local government in developing capabilities. A clear national strategy developed through a partnership among federal agencies and key state, local, and private sector stakeholders is essential to drive operational and programmatic planning, training, and service delivery in combating terrorism.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA7 on Sep 14, 2001

Other candidates on Homeland Security: Jesse Ventura on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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Page last updated: Jul 04, 2014